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Reynoldsburg Schools meeting attracts crowd to discuss levy
The May 19 Reynoldsburg School Board meeting was held in a packed room filled with people who wanted to comment upon the failed levy, as well as suggest plans for moving forward.
Many people on hand voiced the opinion that the board should consider putting another levy on the ballot in November. Some speakers referenced recent news about the Southwestern City School District's upcoming special election and questioned whether Reynoldsburg should try to do the same.
Board President Cheryl Max noted that the deadline for placing a levy on the November ballot is August. The board has begun discussing options, but will not make a decision until there is more information available, including the status of state funding and amounts.
Many people reacted to the disappointment of the levy failure and the cuts that are now being implemented, including the loss of teachers and the uncertainty surrounding sports and other extra-curricular activities.
Representatives from the football team booster organization pushed for a new levy in November and asked if the boosters raise the money to pay for football if the board will make them share the money with other sports.
Board member Chip Martin assured them that the board has no discretion in how booster raised funds are used.
Max pointed out that the $800 per student per activity cost was a number based on the total number of current participants at current costs. A final amount participants will need to pay will be announced as soon as costs are assessed based on revised anticipated participation numbers.
Some audience members asked why the board did not request a levy sooner rather than wait until the district is in such dire straight.
Max reiterated her response from an earlier board meeting that the board did not ask for money when there was money in the bank. Unlike many districts in the area, Reynoldsburg had a solid bank balance while revenue sources, not as robust as in previous years, were still growing.
It has only been in recent times that circumstances have come together in a perfect storm of fiscal worst case scenarios. When the first hint of negative impact came to light, the board asked for a levy, she said. That was the first levy that failed. This past levy was the second time on the ballot.
Reynoldsburg has not passed an operating levy for 12 years.
In other news, Reynoldsburg High School class of 2009 graduation ceremony will be held June 2 at 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center on the OSU campus.
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